• Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg is famous for his energy, his relentless work ethic and for demanding the same level of commitment in those around him.
He has brought the same drive to his work for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, and residents on the fund’s Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills, Calif., have reason to be grateful for it.
Less than four years ago the fund’s hospital and long-term care facility were losing a reported $10 million a year and the fund announced plans to phase them out. Today there is new management in place, the fund is back on a sound financial footing and the hospital and home are to stay open. …
• Honorary Oscar: George Stevens Jr.
As founder of the American Film Institute and the Kennedy Center Honors, George Stevens Jr. built two of the most influential and respected artistic institutions in the United States. By simply working within those organizations, his legacy would have been secure — but Stevens has never been inclined to stand still.
In a career spanning six decades, he has remained a tireless, faithful steward of the arts — protecting and defending others’ important works while creating a few of his own along the way. As his friend Warren Beatty puts it: “One would be hard pressed to find someone who has done more to further the artistic stature of American film than George.” …
• Honorary Oscar: Hal Needham
Before digital effects could make impossible falls look easy, before high-tech equipment had to be in place before a stunt man did a complicated jump, before anyone had heard of an “air bag,” Hal Needham was flying through air, literally, by the seat of his pants.
The 81-year-old Needham, who inspired an action figure and legions of young stunt performers to follow in his footsteps, grew up so poor his family didn’t have indoor plumbing. For most of his childhood, he never saw a movie in a theater. But he found the guts leap off of all kinds of things and let himself be set on fire for two reasons — fun and money. …
• Honorary Oscar: D.A. Pennebaker
Donn Alan Pennebaker didn’t just make a mark on documentary filmmaking — he helped reinvent the documentary art form.
Over the course of his six-decade career, he helped develop one of the first fully portable 16mm synchronized camera and sound systems; was a founding father of the cinema verite movement; and compiled more than 100 credits as a director, cinematographer, editor and/or producer.
“There is not a single documentary filmmaker out there who has not been influenced in some way by D.A. Pennebaker,” says acclaimed doc director, Ken Burns. “He liberated and revolutionized the medium.” …